On April 7, users of Twitter were left feeling upset when they discovered that they were unable to engage with tweets that included links to sites hosted on Substack. When trying to like, retweet, or comment to postings that included Substack links, several users reported getting an error message stating that “some actions on this tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” It was noted by several users that the user interface seemed to record their likes or retweets; but, upon closer examination, it did not appear to be counting or showing the interactions.
At this time, it is not possible to tell if the problem is a defect or a feature that was intended to be there. Since April 6, it seems that Twitter has disabled the ability for users of Substack to embed tweets in their posts, which may be connected to the problem. The Substack representative who was asked about the issue did not specify whether they felt the problem was caused by a change in the Twitter API or a bug.
The issue started happening not long after Substack introduced “Notes,” an application for publishing similar to Twitter that some people feel is intended to compete with the bird app. Substack is often seen as a venue in which bloggers of an advanced level may discuss their ideas with groups of users that have similar interests. Substack has been used to a very significant degree, particularly within the crypto community.
This problem arises as a result of multiple recent, unexplained modifications made to Twitter. The site displayed a picture of Doge in lieu of Twitter’s bird emblem for a number of days, while the nonprofit media group National Public Radio (NPR) was labeled as “state media.” A great number of users are now perplexed and doubting Twitter’s motivations as a result of these developments.
Regarding Substack, it is not apparent what Twitter’s goals or objectives are at this time. It’s possible that an effort was made to suppress competition by making it impossible for Twitter users to engage with tweets that include links to Substack, but it might also just be a glitch that needs to be fixed. In any event, users will be keeping a careful watch on both platforms for any more advancements that may occur.